October 20, 2008

Cuba opens Russian Orthodox cathedral

by David Masters

Cuba’s first ever Russian Orthodox Church was consecrated this week, with President Raul Castro attending the ceremony.

Our Lady of Kazan cathedral was built tactfully and slowly. It has only just been completed, even though building work started in 2004.

The opening of the church is part of a celebration of increasing ties between Russia and Cuba, two nations that were extremely close until the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991.

Members of Cuba’s small but significant Russian community packed out the cathedral for the ceremony.

The ceremony was performed by Metropolitan Kirill, head of foreign relations at the Russian Orthodox Church.

He called the cathedral a ‘monument to friendship’ between Russia and Cuba.

Russia is Cuba’s tenth largest trading partner.

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